This year’s Olympic tennis was, in my opinion, the most prestigious in history due to the fact that it was being held at the home of tennis, Wimbledon.
Roger Federer had made it his goal to try to win Olympic gold in singles for the first time, one of the very few things he hasn’t achieved in his career.
I cannot remember a year with more British sporting success. Andy Murray has had the best year of his career, becoming the first British man to win a major in 76 years. On top of that, he won Olympic gold at Wimbledon in singles, silver in the mixed doubles and also reached the Wimbledon singles final.
This week in Shanghai was once again all about the top 3 players in the world. Roger Federer keeps on setting new records; by making the semi-finals this past week he guaranteed he would stay at world number 1 for at least another week. Roger’s record of 300 weeks as world number 1 will never be broken.
Right now though in the men’s game there feels like a shift in power at the very top – It feels like a new era. The Djokovic, Murray era is beginning. Novak Djokovic, barring an injury will be number 1 at the end of the year. The big battle for the rest of the year will be between Murray and Federer for number 2 in the world. Djokovic and Murray are at the peaks of their careers, while Roger is nearing the latter stages of his career and nobody knows how Nadal will be after such a long injury break. Still we have no idea when Rafa will return.
By Greg Rusedski
This year’s U.S. Open was about two former champions retiring, an up and coming new star in the women’s game and two great champions.
Kim Clijsters the former world number one and three time U.S. Open champion announced her retirement before the event started. Many people were hoping she would have a great run. Kim lost in the second round to Laura Robson from Britain who, at 18 years of age, was yet to live up to her hype and potential. This was a massive breakthrough for Laura to beat Kim. The entire tennis community was very sad to see Clijsters lose but she showed great sportsmanship in defeat as always. She handled her loss with great dignity and class; Kim will be truly missed from the game of tennis.
The second week of Wimbledon started with another massive upset. The world number 1 and a lot of people’s pick to win the championship, Maria Sharapova, lost in the fourth round to Sabine Lisicki of Germany in straight sets.
This really opened up the top half of the woman’s draw and meant there would be a new world number 1. Victoria Azarenka the world number 2 or Agnieszka Radwanska the world number 3 would become the new world number 1. It all depended on who went further in the tournament. Radwanska took full advantage of Sharapova losing and made her first Grand Slam final.
There were major upsets, epic matches, and conspiracy theories. The biggest upset in over a decade happened in the second round of the men’s singles when Rafa Nadal, many people’s pick for the championship, lost to the unheralded Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic.
Djokovic will most likely face his first test in the quarter-finals against Richard Gasquet. While Federer’s first test could be Janko Tipsarevic in the quarter-finals as well; expect Djokovic and Federer in the semi-finals this year.
This year’s French Open was all about making history and breaking records. Roger Federer broke Jimmy Connors’ previous record of most Grand Slam match wins, which was 233 wins. Federer broke Connors’ record when he won his 2nd round match and will continue to extend this record.
Novak Djokovic was trying to be the first man in The Open era to hold all four majors at the same time and win his first French Open title; the last man to do this was the great Rod Laver in 1969.
The Monte Carlo Master Series is a good indicator for who is in good clay court form early during the run up to the French Open. Rafael Nadal has won this event the last 7 years in a row, which has never happened before on the ATP Tour.
This year it looked like his streak could come to an end because World Number 1 Novak Djokovic, who missed last year’s event, was in the draw. The only player missing in the top 4 was Roger Federer who needed a little break this week.
By Greg Rusedski
All the talk at the Miami Masters Series was again about the top four and if Roger Federer would be able to continue his amazing run. Miami is a tough event to win immediately after Indian Wells due to its slower conditions, heavy humidity and at times; strong winds.
Federer was trying to win Indian Wells and Miami back-to-back for the third time in his career. Federer has been on an amazing run since losing in the semi-finals of the US Open. He has won 6 of his last 8 events and has amassed the most points of any player since mid-September of last year. Unfortunately for Roger, he lost to Andy Roddick in the third round when he ran out of gas with Roddick playing well. This will hurt Roger because he owns Roddick and had beaten him in 24 out of 26 matches up until this match.